Shelter owner released from police custody as treatment continues for rescued dogs

Photos: Hawaiian Humane Society
Photos: Hawaiian Humane Society

The Hawaiian Humane Society is taking in even more animals from a Makaha no-kill shelter.

It says crews returned to Friends for Life Friday to rescue the remaining animals from the property. The society is now caring for more than 300 dogs and rabbits.

HHS says it found rotting food, animal waste, and some dogs in critical condition during a massive rescue in Makaha Wednesday.

More than 270 dogs were initially taken from the Friends for Life no-kill animal shelter. The humane society and Honolulu police spent most of Wednesday at the property, shuttling the animals to the society’s Moiliili campus for treatment.

The humane society describes animals with ticks, fleas, and lice; some with open wounds, others malnourished. They say some animals were in critical condition and had to be taken to local veterinarians for emergency medical care.

The man arrested at the scene, David “Lanny” Moore, has been released from police custody without charges, pending further investigation. Moore ran the Friends for Life shelter.

On Thursday, we spoke to a neighbor and a supporter of the facility. They both say they understand the mission of the shelter, but say that caring for nearly 300 dogs may have been too much.

Kawena Caldwell grew up in Makaha and has known Lanny his entire life. “He’s a good guy. He’s an uncle to me growing up,” he said.

But Caldwell says the dogs living next door sometimes tested his patience.

“I get the impression that they weren’t using any flea or tick medications,” Caldwell said. “All our dogs have flea collars and stuff like that, but I stick them in the yard and they are constantly scratching. I imagine it must be a disease vector next door.”

While we were at the scene, we saw a humane society van pass the property of Friends for Life. It’s the same van that was used to shuttle dogs Wednesday, but the van left moments later.

We also spoke to Moore, who said he couldn’t talk on camera or make a statement on the advice of his attorney. So we called a shelter supporter and asked what the place was like Thursday.

“It was really quite sad. There was no dogs. It was okay though, we cleaned up,” said Leslie Meacham.

Meacham says she understands if the sick dogs were taken, but not all of them.

“A lot of them are still healthy,” she said. “They were well taken care of. My husband was watching the news last night and said, ‘What’s wrong with these dogs? They are healthy.'”

We tried to reach the Hawaiian Humane Society, which sent us this statement:

“Some dogs suffered debilitating skin disorders, had open wounds and pressure sores and others were malnourished and starving. Some were in critical condition and had to be taken to local veterinary clinics to receive emergency medical attention.

The law requires, at a minimum, that animals be given sufficient care to preserve their health and well-being. This was not being done for those dogs we rescued.”

We spoke to a caller Thursday who reached out to KHON2 back in January 2015. Amber Dennison says she’s disappointed that it took so long for the humane society to take action.

“If they would have stepped in years ago, then he wouldn’t have been able to take in all of these dogs,” Dennison said.

The humane society is asking for donations and volunteers to help care for the dogs. If you’d like to help, the humane society is in need of supplies — such as crates, towels, puppy pads, shampoo, and detergent — and financial support for animal and foster care. Click here for more information.

They are also looking for volunteer veterinary technicians and/or veterinary assistants to help with the animals. Those interested should call 356-2232 or email

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